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ArtLady1981
07-30-2008, 12:49 AM
Hi y'all! :waving:

I mostly use my Dell laptop for everything. It is about 2 years old and is in front of me now as I type these words.

But, I have a Dell Desktop sitting at my left...it is about 5 years old. I maintain the antivirus and microsoft updates on it...just in case of a crash on the laptop...
I will have a backup computer. :eyes:

However, I tried to power up the old desktop today (by pushing the button on the tower, as usual)...and nothin'.

It is plugged in. I tried un-plugging it for a minute, then re-plugging it...the "on" button lights up...but the computer doesn't come on.

It should be mentioned that I haven't tried to turn it on in about 3 months. But, I have let it sit idle longer than that on other occasions, and it powered up just fine. It should also be mentioned that our city has had 2 power outages in the past month. One outage lasted all day...and the other one occurred when we were out-of-town.

No one lives in my household except me and DH...and he doesn't know what a computer "on" button is! So no one has tinkered around with it in my absence.

Does anyone have any idea what has happened?
Do you have any "fixes" I can try?

I will be very grateful for any and all feedback. Even if it is to say "Make funeral arrangements. Your desktop has died."

cphkat
07-30-2008, 03:11 AM
Hiya,

I don't know very much about computers either, but I have made a lot of interesting mistakes that have added to my knowledge. One of the details I learned is that your computer can be turned on but if your moniter isn't on also, you won't see anything. My Dell moniter has an on button separate from the on button on the CPU. Hopefully, this helps.

Kat

gingerbread
07-30-2008, 07:10 AM
Have you tried the power supply on the computer. My dh is the one that is savvy on cumputer. I read him your story and that is what he said that could be the trouble. If it is also 5 years old he said it could be toast. Contact Dell and see what kind of power supply you would need.
Hope this helps, if you have found the problem great.


:waving:

Silver
07-30-2008, 08:21 AM
First things first, while the power is turned off, unplug the main power plug then unplug and replug every other plug to and from the computer. Check that the monitor is on. Verify power is running to the wall outlet.

Turn the computer on.

Does your computer make any sound at all? Do you hear any whirring or buzzing or a high pitched frequency? Any beeps?

If you hear nothing at all, I suspect that the problem is either the power plug or the power supply in the CPU case. The power supply could have gotten fried during an electrical storm. (Been there, done that)

If you do hear a whirring or something, then power is making it to various parts of the CPU case. There should be at least one fan in the case, can you visually check to see if it's coming on? If it is, then you might have a more serious problem like a dead hard drive.

I wouldn't recommend trying to fix this yourself unless you know what you're doing. Call Dell support or take it in to a repair shop.

Good luck! :)

auburnchick
07-30-2008, 08:24 AM
My first thought is the monitor.

When you turn on the CPU, do you hear anything running? A green light usually indicates all is well with that part of the computer.

However, if you're not seeing anything on the screen, the problem is probably the monitor. This has happened at work before. One of the power outages could have fried the monitor, or it could have simply bit the dust.

Do you have a neighbor whom you could borrow a monitor from just to test it out?

Good luck my friend!:hug:

Ronda
07-30-2008, 08:42 AM
Both of my computers are plugged into surge protectors. When the power goes out, one computer is always fine. The other (mine) won't turn on. I have to crawl under the desk and flip the power switch to the surge protector off and then back on. Then and only then will my computer turn on.

Just a suggestion. :)

Knit4Pie
07-30-2008, 10:26 AM
I was also thinking it could be the surge protectorl. I had one that I had to flip off and on again after power outages.

vaknitter
07-30-2008, 11:58 AM
I am not a computer expert by any stretch...but if the power light on the tower is coming on it would make me think it is something with the monitor. Either it blew with one of the outages, it is no longer plugged into the tower, or it is not turned on. Just my $0.02

Jan in CA
07-30-2008, 12:40 PM
In addition to the other things make sure the surge protector is on..there is usually a light on it. When we had a young cat she used to step on it and turn it off occasionally. Since it is a surge protector it may have something that needs to be reset as well, but I don't know for sure.

ArtLady1981
07-30-2008, 04:52 PM
The surge protector is on. The monitor is on. The surge protector is on. The belly light ("on" button) for the tower is on. The light for the monitor is on.

However, when I press another button on the monitor, it displays these words: In Power Save Mode. Press any key on keyboard or move mouse. But when I do, nothing happens.

I will keep investigating and follow the steps that Silver suggested.

Ima beginnin' to think it is the monitor that has blown out. Ouch. New monitors are pricey. I never dreamt that it could be the monitor! It's a 17" flat screen. I may take the monitor to a friend whose tower we know is working, and see if my monitor will work with his tower.

Thanks to all for your input. Anyone else wanna weigh in on this?

Jan in CA
07-30-2008, 06:04 PM
17 inch monitors aren't that bad anymore. For around $200 or less you can get a good one. Your computer is 5 yrs old though so take that into consideration..will you be upgrading soon? If so you could get a monitor now and then buy just the CPU or wait and buy the whole shebang. ;) I am loving my new Dell so far!

Lucy78green
07-30-2008, 06:16 PM
probably completely irrelevant, but is the internal battery (ie the one that maintains your clock/calendar etc) in your computer ok after not turning it on in so long. It went on one of our computers and buggered it up til we figured out what the problem was

ArtLady1981
07-30-2008, 06:40 PM
17 inch monitors aren't that bad anymore. For around $200 or less you can get a good one. Your computer is 5 yrs old though so take that into consideration..will you be upgrading soon? If so you could get a monitor now and then buy just the CPU or wait and buy the whole shebang. ;) I am loving my new Dell so far!

Yeah I sure do need to think about these things! My Desktop Dell has only 512 mb memory, and 80 GB hardrive...and they were the best you could buy at that time! 512 MB memory!! 80 GB hardrive!!

Well the 80 GB hardrive is all I need, even on my laptop...but the 512 memory (RAM)! Unheard of these days.

So I dunno if investing in a monitor for this old desktop is worth it.
Yesterday, I prowled around on the Dell website, and saw their new STUDIO HYBRID computers! So small, so cute and stylish! The CPU is very very small, and will stand up, or lay down. I like it very much! Such a small desktop footprint, and easy to move!

The hook is that the price you see is minus speakers (for the STUDIO desktop), minus a monitor, minus any software whatsoever. The $499 price tag grows to $1200 real fast.

I guess that is ok... some folks have their own monitors and speakers, etc. Why buy more than you have to?

For the $499 you receive 1 GB Ram, with 160 GB hardrive.
1 GB Ram is totally inefficient for the memory sucking VISTA OS.
So right off the bat, you have to think about upgrading to 3GB or 4GB memory if you want/need a speedy responder! That ups the ante by $100-$150. Upping the processor fromIntel® Pentium™ Dual Core T2390 (1.86GHz/533Mhz FSB/1MB cache) to Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache) adds $175.

Aargh.

I dunno what to do.

Maybe I'll just keep tinkering with my old desktop. If nothing can be resolved, I think I'd put some change into the STUDIO HYBRID before I restore the old desktop to operational status. But I'd really really like to! It's just a backup plan in case of crashes.


The DELL "STUDIO HYBRID"!


http://i.dell.com/images/global/products/desktop_studio/desktop_studio_highlights/desktop_studio_hybrid_design1.jpg

Knitting_Guy
07-30-2008, 07:31 PM
The fact that the monitor gives a message stating that it's in power saving mode tells me that the monitor is probably ok. It's waiting for a video signal to wake it up.

There are a couple of things to check.

1. When you power up the tower, if the system is actually booting you should be able to see the hard drive light flickering as the drive is read and on most machines if you listen closely you can heard the drive spinning.

If you do see this and hear this, then that means the machine is actually booting up and either the video card itself is fried, or loose, or the power supply is partially damaged and isn't sending power to that section of the board, or the mother board itself is damaged.

2. If the machine isn't booting at all then I'd suspect either the power supply (most likely) or the mother board (less likely but possible).

Machines should always be unplugged during a power outage to protect them from the surge when power is restored, even if they're plugged into a surge protector. Far too many surge protectors out there are inadequate.

ArtLady1981
07-30-2008, 09:37 PM
Hi Mason!

The surge protector that powers my CPU, monitor, MAXTOR OneTouch external hard drive, and laptop...seems to ok, because the surge protector is sending power to these items in blue.

No, the CPU doesn't make a peep. No whirring, purring or otherwise. Nada. The little belly light does show yellow. When I unplug the CPU, the re-plug, the light is out...when I push it, it goes yellow again, but nothing happens. Nada.

I purchased a new power strip the other day. It's called the MONSTER POWER Computer Power Center PC800 HP with 8 outlets. Full capacity SURGEGAURD protection, it says. It maintains that the Monster Clean Power filtering stops performance damaging AC Power Pollution...whatever that means.
Paid $80 for the thing. Shees. Pricey little sucker. But not as much as replacing a CPU!

I think I might have to make funeral arrangements for my CPU. :pout:


Anyway, I'm gonna get everything plugged into the new power strip ASAP.

I was home for the first power outage, but never even thought to unplug the Dell Desktop. Dumb me.

However, I was not home for the 2nd power outage.
We were only aware that there had been an outage because every clock in the house was blinking and needed resetting.

I take my LAPTOP and the MAXTOR with me on vacation. So they were not here for the surge of electricity, if that is what indeed killed my DELL DESKTOP CPU.

Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.

ArtLady1981
07-30-2008, 09:39 PM
probably completely irrelevant, but is the internal battery (ie the one that maintains your clock/calendar etc) in your computer ok after not turning it on in so long. It went on one of our computers and buggered it up til we figured out what the problem was

Hi Lucy,

How does one check the internal battery? Crack open the hood and look around? Does it look like a watch battery? :??

Knitting_Guy
07-30-2008, 10:09 PM
When I say the power supply, I mean the one inside the computer. They have multiple sections and it could be that a portion of the supply is burned out.

It's cheaper to replace the power supply than the entire computer and would probably be worth ordering one to try it and see before scrapping the whole thing.

You should be able to find one pretty cheap at http://www.newegg.com/

I've ordered from Newegg in the past and have always gotten very good service from them.

If it isn't the power supply then odds are high that the mother board is toasted.

suzeeq
07-30-2008, 10:21 PM
I agree that it could be the power supply; they tend to get zapped when the power comes back on after an outage. That's why a good surge protector helps. You may find one at a local computer shop too, they probably aren't much more than $50 if that.

Jan in CA
07-30-2008, 11:57 PM
512 mb of RAM and 80 G hard drive??:noway: Wowzers. I have 4G of RAM and 320 G HD and Vista runs like a dream. :thumbsup: I used my old speakers and monitor so the $1400 I spent all went to the CPU and I'm glad I did it this way. That way I could upgrade the RAM and video card easily.

ArtLady1981
07-31-2008, 02:45 PM
512 mb of RAM and 80 G hard drive??:noway: Wowzers. I have 4G of RAM and 320 G HD and Vista runs like a dream. :thumbsup: I used my old speakers and monitor so the $1400 I spent all went to the CPU and I'm glad I did it this way. That way I could upgrade the RAM and video card easily.

Yeah, Jan...isn't that a DINOSAUR 512 MB RAM and 80 GB hardrive! Who'da thunk!

It ran pretty snappy though. And still does (if I can get it powered on). I reformatted it, and just left the OFFICE software and a couple dozen photos. No docs. I mainly use it to use internet and email...and update my ART website, and like I said, in case of a crash on my laptop. It is nice to have a backup computer.

ArtLady1981
07-31-2008, 02:50 PM
When I say the power supply, I mean the one inside the computer. They have multiple sections and it could be that a portion of the supply is burned out.

It's cheaper to replace the power supply than the entire computer and would probably be worth ordering one to try it and see before scrapping the whole thing.

You should be able to find one pretty cheap at http://www.newegg.com/

I've ordered from Newegg in the past and have always gotten very good service from them.

If it isn't the power supply then odds are high that the mother board is toasted.

Thanks for the tips and info Mason! :thumbsup: I don't know how to crack open my CPU tower, nor what to look for once inside its brain! A Dell Doctor came by once years ago to install a new motherboard (mine was defective)...but that's the only time I've seen inside the skull of my CPU! Can I GOOGLE information like that? Are there websites that show how to crack open the tower and how to locate the power supply, and what it looks like?

Lucy78green
07-31-2008, 03:53 PM
My dad always does the fixing inside the computer type things, he has a book think it's a "dummies guide to computers" or something. He's upgraded the graphics card, ram, internal battery etc himself

Wanda Witch
07-31-2008, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the tips and info Mason! :thumbsup: I don't know how to crack open my CPU tower, nor what to look for once inside its brain! A Dell Doctor came by once years ago to install a new motherboard (mine was defective)...but that's the only time I've seen inside the skull of my CPU! Can I GOOGLE information like that? Are there websites that show how to crack open the tower and how to locate the power supply, and what it looks like?

Have you contacted Dell Technical Support (877-465-2968) in regard to this problem? I know zilch about the inside working parts of the CPU, but when mine took a complete nose-dive a few months ago I was on the phone with Dell Tech Support for at least four hours while the very patient 'nerd' there had my hands inside the skull as you so aptly call it. Turned out, after trying this, that and the other, the hard drive and memory were gone and, since the computer came with an extended three-year warranty, when the local tech came out I did not have to pay a cent for the replacement or house call. Honestly, the back is not the difficult to remove, but I did need 'support' talking to me in my ear. Good luck with yours. From the several dealings in the past with Dell I would buy another one, that's for certain. Oh, they are in the U.S. so you can understand them also. :yay:

suzeeq
07-31-2008, 09:35 PM
There should be some screws holding the case or a panel on, or the panel should slide along one side. The power supply is the piece that the power cord is connected to. It may not look obviously `fried' though.

Plantgoddess+
07-31-2008, 10:16 PM
This thread is making my laptop feel bad. All I have is 512 ram and an 80gig HD. I always get my hubby's hand me down computers and so far this one does all I need, but bookkeeping and surfing the net don't require much.

ArtLady1981
08-01-2008, 12:20 PM
This thread is making my laptop feel bad. All I have is 512 ram and an 80gig HD. I always get my hubby's hand me down computers and so far this one does all I need, but bookkeeping and surfing the net don't require much.

:hug:give your laptop a big ole hug from Artlady! TeeHee! :teehee: I had to chuckle when I read your reply! Yes, the reason I'm trying to fix up my Dell Desktop (the dinosaur with only 512 GB ram) is because it is still quite snappy! It isn't overloaded with thousands programs, etc.

I dunno. Maybe 4GB Ram is overkill unless you are a gamer. This little laptop I'm typing on is 1GB Ram. It takes a second for a Word or Excel doc to open. But all in all, its good! But I heard that the new VISTA OS performs terribly if you don't have at least 2GB Ram, and the more Ram the better. It is a memory sucking program, is what I heard.

Knitting_Guy
08-01-2008, 03:33 PM
While replacing the power supply is actually a pretty easy job, I'd suggest taking it to someone who has done it before. I'd hate to read about you getting yourself electrocuted or something.

ArtLady1981
08-01-2008, 03:37 PM
Hey Mason! Thanks, I will! There is a little 'computer doctor' place about 2 blocks from me. I'm gonna stop in and talk to the guy. Ask him about the 'diagnosis' cost, and then 'fix it' cost. Let ya know what he says.

Knitting_Guy
08-01-2008, 03:39 PM
Hey Mason! Thanks, I will! There is a little 'computer doctor' place about 2 blocks from me. I'm gonna stop in and talk to the guy. Ask him about the 'diagnosis' cost, and then 'fix it' cost. Let ya know what he says.

Yeah that might be best. While I do all of my own computer work, I usually recommend such things be done by a professional.

Jan in CA
08-01-2008, 03:40 PM
I dunno. Maybe 4GB Ram is overkill unless you are a gamer.

:roflhard: Maybe so, but I was going to make darn sure I had no problems and I haven't. RAM is pretty inexpensive overall now anyway. I'm sure that 3 would be very good, too.

Now about that fact that you've not opened the computer... :zombie: They have to be cleaned occasionally. Animal fur is a computer killer! If you still have the book that came with it it should tell you how to open it. Do it carefully, and clean it carefully making sure to reseat any parts if they get bumped.

ArtLady1981
08-01-2008, 03:47 PM
:roflhard: Maybe so, but I was going to make darn sure I had no problems and I haven't. RAM is pretty inexpensive overall now anyway. I'm sure that 3 would be very good, too.

Now about that fact that you've not opened the computer... :zombie: They have to be cleaned occasionally. Animal fur is a computer killer! If you still have the book that came with it it should tell you how to open it. Do it carefully, and clean it carefully making sure to reseat any parts if they get bumped.

Huh? :?? Cleaned? I never knew that! Ho boy! No, this things never been cleaned. Just dusted.

If I get a new 'puter with VISTA OS...I will go for 4GB Ram,too. The difference in price between 3GB and 4GB is not that great.
And you made a good point: by using your existing monitor and speakers (keyboard and mouse, too?) you could put all your money into the CPU.

My question prolly answered already: the fittings for monitors and speakers are universal, right? My existing monitor will plug into a new CPU, etc. The fitting is the same, right? :??

I could call DELL, but I sometimes think their main goal is to SELL new components...not find ways for their customers to use existing components.

Jan, how do you like the VISTA OS? An easy transition??

Knitting_Guy
08-01-2008, 04:58 PM
Yikes!!! You've never cleaned the inside of the tower? Dust is a real killer.

ArtLady1981
08-01-2008, 05:26 PM
I didn't know dust could get in the tower! Well, maybe this is part of my problem.

What to do. What to do. :??

Well, maybe I should unplug it, open it up, and take a peek.

Do you vacuum yours? The skinny crevice tool for the vacuum should do the trick, if vacuuming is ok.

Wanda Witch
08-01-2008, 06:12 PM
When I had problems a few months ago with my Dell and spoke with the Technical Support they suggested dusting inside also. He suggested canned air. Haven't done it yet though.....:oo:

Dangles
08-01-2008, 06:14 PM
Oh dear, never been cleaned internally?

You need a can of compressed air, ie Dust Off (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/0f/Dust-Off_10oz.jpg/180px-Dust-Off_10oz.jpg) and a vacuum cleaner. Might I suggest a mask for your face if you are are allergic to dust.

Unplug the unit, remove the side panel and dust away. As you use 'Dust Off' use the vacuum at the same time suck out all the bunnies.

Jan in CA
08-02-2008, 12:49 AM
You can vacuum, but do it carefully. Don't touch any parts if possible. The crevice tool has strong suction so be careful with it.

Actually, I don't find Vista all that much different than XP. I don't know what all the hoopla was about. Sure it's a little different, but it was an easy transition. Mine works fine, too. I had a little issue a few weeks ago, but they guy didn't say it was Vista specifically and he was very helpful and we got it fixed. I expect some problems with electronics, it's the nature of the beast. ;)

suzeeq
08-02-2008, 12:59 AM
If I get a new 'puter with VISTA OS...I will go for 4GB Ram,too.

Do Not Get Vista! It's so bad that new computers are now being put out with XP on them instead -- with permission from MS because they realize it's got too many bugs to fix.

And yes, dust and fuzzies get sucked inside, can cause heat and static to build up and zap parts. Get any sort of canned air from an office supply store like Staples or Officemax.

Plantgoddess+
08-02-2008, 03:57 PM
It's surprising what dust magnets electronics are. I have to dust the tv and all it's add ons, the computers, and the stereo much more often than anything else in the house. Our desktop was having a nervous breakdown a while ago and when hubby opened it he found a disgusting mess. It took a while to get it all cleaned out, but the computer is fine now.

cindycactus
08-02-2008, 05:18 PM
I got a new Compaq in Feb. with Vista and really like it. As Jan said it isn't so different from XP. I had to update to SP1 so followed all the directions on the Microsoft and HP web sites "to do" before installing SP1. Had no problems. I have an older Compaq with XP and was dreading Vista but I am pleased with it.

Knitting_Guy
08-04-2008, 12:55 PM
I just bought a new HP laptop. Naturally it came with Vista Home Premium. While I will never be a Micro$oft fan, Vista isn't so bad. Many of the main problems were fixed with SP1.

I'll still be installing Linux on it as soon as I get a little spare time :mrgreen: